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Theatre and Dance Hosts The Living Newspaper Project Showcase

Using the arts to engage students around issues of human rights, The Living Newspaper Project seeks to bridge the gap between the university and the greater Austin community.

Students explore issues of human rights through performance

Over eighty-five high school students attended the first-ever Living Newspaper Project Showcase, hosted by the Performance as Public Practice Program in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Graduate student teaching artists guided the participating students in their research, writing, and creation of original Living Newspaper performances.

Living Newspapers, literally newspapers brought to life, were documentary-style performances that were first introduced to the United States during the Great Depression as part of the short-lived Federal Theatre Project (1935 – 1939). Living Newspapers dramatized pressing contemporary human rights issues, such as tenement housing or farming subsidies, and were typically produced with small budgets and minimal stage design.

The Living Newspaper was revived in 2005 by the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with the Performance as Public Practice Program in the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and local high school educators. Now housed exclusively in the Department of Theatre and Dance, The Living Newspaper Project is the signature community outreach initiative of the Performance as Public Practice Program.

The inaugural Showcase included students and teachers from William B. Travis High School and Sidney Lanier High School of Austin, Texas, and Lehman High School of Kyle, Texas. The students' performance topics ranged from immigration to childhood obesity.

Using the arts to engage students around issues of human rights, The Living Newspaper Project seeks to bridge the gap between the university and the greater Austin community, cultivating in students the key skills that will serve them in college, their careers, and their roles as citizens in a global community.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

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